-Notice-

Hey… 'Been a long while since I updated. Though, I bet you were expecting another chapter for the whole 'Worst is going to troll Mikoto HARD!'.

Sorry, it won't be happening. Why? Let's say I decided to abort the Ichihanaransai arc…

Basically, I'd rather bring back focus, write down the chapters I now have in mind, and conclude the story nicely.

Do remember that when I first started to write this, we only had NT1 to go by for our Misaka Worst goodness. When Volume 20–22 were translated by our GAR translators at Baka-Tsuki, I kinda decided to rewrite many parts I wasn't' happy with anymore—most notably the earlier chapters. Self-imposed higher standards are a bitch.

I'd definitely recommend re-reading because many things were added or replaced—or sometimes removed—too many to list actually.

I hope you understand, my legions (?) of AcceleratorXWorst shippers.

By the way, the whole 'Worst is going to troll Mikoto and her parents' thing won't go to waste. The Ichihanaransai was only delayed to another fic, possibly a sequel fic.

Anyways, you can skip the re-reading at your own risks and wait for my editing of Chapter 2–5 so I can start Chapter 6, which shouldn't take too long.

Tell me what you think of the revised Chapters as I dish them out if you are so inclined.

From Crackland, with love,

Mr. Kyon,

Self-crowned Holy Crack Emperor and English's fandom source for Misaka Worst goodness.

Monday, July 25 2011.


Promise

Prologue: All I really wanted was a hug

It all started on a tedious afternoon.

•••

Scrunched up into a ball, the little girl snored, her breathing rhythmic, swallowed by a deep sleep. The air was mellow, even to the likes of the flimsy-built man whom the little girl was snuggling to in her sleep. His fervid eyes admired the girl's fragile features absentmindedly. His sleek fingers skimmed in her tawny locks, trying to be delicate; careful motions careful, as if grasping a precious flower, which holds a scent that could make a merciless tyrant simper. His arms cradled her form hesitantly, returning her lovely, innocent, honest affections.

The man sighed in contempt of himself, having trouble understanding why such simple actions were so hard to go through with. He thought about many things, but promptly shrugged them aside. The albino reached out for the nearest pillow—which was at his feet—and used it to rest his head. The natural sunlight was dim, dark clouds creeping around the skies of Academy City. Most of the lights in the Yomikawa residence were off. It was a good time to lazy around, even more so than usual. Tension leaving his shoulders, he pulled a generic blanket over himself and the ten year old girl. Time tick-tocked away, and just when his eyelids started to flutter shut, a sardonic voice broke out, disturbing the peace.

"So, Mister, getting tired of your joyful little life yet?" the russet-haired woman—barely weeks old, yet as old as him—asked as she struck a pose from her couch chair.

In short, it was ridiculous and mocking; exactly what he expected from the newly-hatched clone. The strongest Level 5 among Academy City's best craned his head upward, his eyes groggy from almost falling asleep seconds earlier.

"Don't you have anything better to do than pester me?" he answered her question with one of his own.

Misaka Worst shrugged; as much as someone with an arm in a sling can at least. Her boiling peach eyes glittered slightly as she mouthed off.

"Y'know, despite what you might think, you do show favoritism towards smaller Misakas."

"And I'm supposed to care about the shit dripping from your yap because…?"

"It's a observation on your mating preferences." The girl clad in a pink-white with flowery aodai chuckled, twirling a finger towards his resting form in the daybed. It was meant as an accusing jab. "So you are indeed a lolicon. Self-admitted, huh? Misaka respects your honesty."

Accelerator glared at her, not a hint of mutual amusement present. Worst bore a wicked grin. She lived off (and possibly got off) irking people, in any way possible. There was no dirty tactic beyond her means. If it meant calling someone a pedophile, well…that's what it took. Nothing personal, for the most part—it's all business. As in any good business, showing any sort of compassion could mean utter and total bankruptcy. Not than she could understand compassion, anyways.

Worst prodded further to deepen her fun, the albino still shooting daggers at her. "But really, if this Misaka was tiny and Last Order was big, who would you be embracing right now?"

Accelerator clicked his tongue in a dry "Tch" and told her to shut up and let him sleep. It only egged her to keep at it. "Are you evading the question because you don't know the answer yourself?" Worst asked, shifting into a over-exaggerated thoughtful pose.

He remained cold silent for a minute before mumbling, "How the fuck should I know? The question and premise is stupid. Everything you say makes no sense." At that moment, Last Order also mumbled something, in her sleep, although that was indiscernible.

"So perhaps Misaka could end up in a similar position to that kid?"

"Why do you even fucking bother?" he snarled and buried himself in the soothing pillow.

"Because Misaka is curious how it feels," she admitted plainly. "It must feel good for you to let her do that, right? Else, what would be the point?"

Accelerator remained unmoving, the fragile girl still in his arms; bliss on her lips and cheekbones. The biologically older clone knew he was listening, even if he appeared to radiate apathy.

"Misaka is actually pretty curious about such things," she explained, her eyes wandering to the nearest window. "About affection and sorts. Misaka doesn't get it."

With her left hand rubbing circles into her temples, she grunted as a mark of frustration.

"You're not the most appropriate person to ask, but what are you feeling right now?"

Quietly, devoid of his usual roughness, he answered in a surprisingly modest voice.

"I…don't know."

"You don't know?" She quirked her head sideways, puzzled.

"I guess you got to feel it to understand."

Worst scowled at his empty answer. This whole matter had bothered her inexplicitly for some reason. These kind of boring and peaceful days left a lot of room for such interrogations to fill her psyche.

"But seriously," she began, her tone a notch more sober, "does the person you embrace actually matter? Misaka doubts you'd feel comfortable if I were in that kid's place."

The albino calmly spun his head around, his crimson eyes scrutinizing her. "Like I care…"

"…Then you wouldn't mind hugging Misaka?"

"…What?"

The Level 4 didn't think about it, and that passing thought left her throat. She just felt like asking. It left the Level 5 bewildered somewhat. He proceeded to glare at her for a few seconds, before pulling the blanket slightly over his face, then going to sleep.

Worst sank into her seat, left to her own ruminations as the two lovebirds were tweeting in their dreams.

She wondered why was it that she hoped to be hugged and be in Last Order's place. In Accelerator's arms no less. Jealousy because of the Network? Simple enough. But, why couldn't she picture herself being in the landlady's arms or even that kid's? Last Order had done it a couple of times, but that didn't leave anything "special" within her. No warmness, no soothing feeling… Just a cold turkey aftertaste.

Why did her mind have this sudden obsession on having Accelerator hug her?

Considering the closest thing to a hug he ever dished out to her was breaking her arm, why did she imagine herself being held by him? Worst admitted that she envied the Commander—or to be more precise—her ability to feel such things. It looked so…so nice, so wholesome to be held in an embrace. With a pang of longing, she observed the two on the couch, her peach eyes taking in the sight at its fullest. His arms held her frame with care, a rogue hand in her hair, gently caressing and feeling the pleasant texture.

Misaka Worst admitted it in her heart: she really did want to experience that kind of proximity, without ill intent in any way.

The russet-haired woman scoffed at the images forming in her head: Her, tucked into Accelerator's collar, with his hands petting her like a shy kitten. Worst wasn't scoffing at the interesting feeling it would bring; it was towards the notion that Accelerator or herself could end up in such a predicament.

Maybe if I were a different person, she quietly thought.

After all, her sole purpose was to kill him; her whole existence was supposed to have been dedicated to that single purpose. And now, for some strange reason beyond her, she was in this bloodless existence that shouldn't have been hers to begin with.

She should have died in the chilling cold of Russia, no matter what had transpired between her and Accelerator.

However… He, completely consumed by a sickening darkness, ink black wings spreading from his back as the symbol of that mental state, had saved her.

Despite having broken him piece by piece, cackling over his soulless body as she did so—destroying the very foundation that allowed him to go on—he had saved her despite all that.

•••

That's when I had an idea—a sort of test for Number One. You could call it selfish, but eh, that's what I do; I wanted to feel those foreign emotions and feelings for my own—not just what Last Order and Accelerator shared that afternoon in the sofa—no, it was more than that.

I wanted to understand things which are beyond my emotional compass, which is constantly doused by the Network's darkest portions. It pissed me off that I couldn't understand those basic things that seemed trivial to most.

However…

What I had I mind—a borderline erotic prank that wouldn't go very far—turned into something else entirely.

Well, I was surprised. Stunned might be more appropriate.

I couldn't have predicted Number One would actually play along and respond to my prank in such a way.

All I really wanted was for Tou-san to hug me…